We were excited to announce late last year that Swiss Re has named us Charity of the Year—for the next three years. They will focus on helping us update our youth spaces in 2014. We recently held a focus group with current residents of the Youth Emergency Shelter to get their ideas about ways to make the shelter more homey and youth-friendly. We received great feedback and some specific requests for each room:
- Kitchen – Additional storage, new table and chairs, new appliances (including our first dishwasher!), larger refrigerator, over-the-range microwave (in increase counter space), and a second sink.
- Common Area – New flooring, a mounted flat-screen TV (to create more seating space), a large l-shaped couch complemented by separate lounge seating and ottomans, and laptops to replace the cramped study space, so that youth can work from any room in the shelter.
- Bedrooms – Built-in under-bed drawers and personal lockers for storage, ceiling fans, throw rugs, personal cork boards and other decorations to personalize the rooms.
- Bathrooms – Full-size shower doors for more privacy, under-sink storage, more mirrors and new tile that is bright and easy to clean.
- Overall – The youth wanted to see calming features such as soft lighting, colorful paint, non-institutional flooring and artwork throughout.
We are thrilled to get this project moving and are so thankful that Swiss Re is partnering with us to make this happen! Stay tuned for more updates!